The best Twin Cities concerts: 5/1-5/7

The best Twin Cities concerts: 5/1-5/7

The first week of May begins with an exciting lineup. James Blake returns to First Avenue's Mainroom Wednesday while Veils rock the 7th Street Entry. Electric boy/girl duos Purity Ring and Crystal Castles play First Avenue Thursday and Sunday. Minnesota's local member of Cult Records (Julian Casablancas's label) Har Mar Superstar plays the Turf Club Saturday Night while Haley Bonar and Carroll each play a set at Icehouse.

Wednesday 5.1.2013

James Blake First Avenue At the same time dubstep started to get massive, James Blake cranked down the volume. His circa-2010 singles for the Hessle Audio and R&S labels — "The Bells Sketch," "CMYK," "Klavierwerke" — revealed a musician more interested in percussive nuance than crushing bass, and called up sounds of desolate, subtly driving beauty better than most of his 2-step peers since the first Burial releases. The following year's self-titled debut album took things even further — now he was a vocalist, as much a singer-songwriter as a super producer, with delicate melodies and neo-soul falsettos (and a cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love") pushing him even further from bass music's increasingly raucous turf into the arms of indie-pop. As hinted at by the EPs he released in the wake of James Blake, however, this year's Overgrown refines the debut's mood and finds Blake reasserting his dance-music roots, even as his fragile but piercing voice has found more up-front footing. —Nate Patrin 18+, $20, 8 PM

Zion I with Botzy and Duenday Triple Rock Electronic Underground 18+, $15, 8 PM

Veils 7th St. Entry Fresh-faced Rough Trade records rookies a decade ago, London-based shadow-rockers the Veils have endured a near constant churn of members and record labels in the ensuing years, with frontman Finn Andrews remaining the sole constant. The Veils' self-released fourth album, Time Stays, We Go, is their first in four years and finds Andrews's rotating cast still favoring a dark and stormy sound that often feels like the European answer to the Walkmen and is every bit as barbed and beautiful (albeit boasting a bit of Brit-rock slickness). Highlights include the atypically sunny strum-along "Turn From the Rain" and album-closing epic "Out From the Valleys and Into the Stars." -Rob Van Alstyne 18+, $15, 8 PM

Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers Dakota Jazz Club (Wednesday 5.1 & Thursday 5.2) The Beautiful Dreamers trio is just one of the seemingly endless projects of prolific and innovative guitarist Bill Frisell. Joining him is Eyvind Kang on viola and drummer Rudy Royston, who both approach their instruments with the same virtuosic, wide-ranging versatility as Frisell and have collaborated with him in other contexts. As Beautiful Dreamers, the trio issued an eponymous 2010 album on Savoy Jazz that includes 10 Frisell originals synthesizing his jazz, Americana, blues, and rock influences. But particularly telling are the brilliantly idiosyncratic covers: Little Anthony's soul nugget "Goin' Out of My Head" precisely plucked with an Appalachian flair; a playful, hot-club-like swing through Benny Goodman's "Benny's Bugle"; a wistful "Tea for Two"; a lovely but surrealistic version of Stephen Foster's title tune; a twangy, rocking "Keep on the Sunny Side"; and a scuffling, bitter reading of Blind Willie Johnson's "It's Nobody's Fault But Mine." Deconstructed and reassembled with loving affection for both the tune and the other musicians' work, each is a revelation.—Rick Mason AA, $40, 7 PM

Thursday 5.2.2013

DJ Shadow Mill City Nights It's hard to believe that we're almost 20 years removed from DJ Shadow's breakthrough MoWax single "Lost and Found (S.F.L.)." Not just because abstract, downtempo instrumental hip-hop still seems like a pretty contemporary development, but because Shadow himself carries a sort of ageless quality around him. From micro-press psychedelic oddities to the dustiest corners of fusion jazz, those energetic mutations have made him a sort of Herbie Hancock of the MPC and put a characteristic stamp on career-defining albums like Endtroducing..... and The Private Press. But he also seems ageless because he keeps up, even at the risk of alienating the part of his fanbase still waiting breathlessly for him to reendtroduce his '96 self. Engaging with the cream of Bay Area hyphy rappers on 2006's The Outsider or flipping rock crossover from metal to new wave to indie-pop on 2011's underrated The Less You Know, the Better may not have drawn favorable critical comparisons to his early work. But so what? As long as Shadow keeps moving forward — and bringing the pyrotechnic, catalogue-transforming thrills that make him a must-see live act — he'll be worth getting excited about. —Nate Patrin 18+, $25, 8 PM

Purity Ring with Blue Hawaii Mainroom Lullabies for the Club 18+, $15.50, 7:30 PM

Acid Mothers Temple with Tjutjuna 7th Street Entry Japanese Psych 18, $10/$12, 8 PM

Friday 5.3.2013

Secret Stash Soul Revue DAKOTA (FRIDAY 5.3 & SATURDAY 5.4) Secret Stash, the local label specializing in digging up neglected musical nuggets of the past, unearthed a treasure trove of vintage local R&B that had mostly fallen off the radar and last year released the collection as Twin Cites Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves From Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979. Besides resurrecting gems from still-working musicians like Willie Murphy (then leading his intrepid Bumblebees) and Willie Walker (who now teams up with the Butanes), there are tracks from bands like the Prophets of Peace, Band of Thieves, and the Valdons, who all laid the groundwork for the Minneapolis Sound of Prince and the Time. One benefit of the release is that some material is again being played live and new projects are in the works, both of which will be evident at this two-night showcase. This revue will feature the reformed Valdons, their sleek vocal harmonies and funky grooves intact. Their lineup now includes Sonny Knight, once a member of the funk band Haze, who now is also leading a new outfit called the Lakers, who will play a late-night set at the Dakota Saturday. Also in the revue will be singer/saxophonist Maurice Jacox, a longtime member of the Bees, and Jackie Harris, who had a mid-'60s hit on Chess, played with local R&B outfits and was a radio DJ, and singer Chastity Brown, to neatly tie the classic material into the contemporary scene.—Rick Mason AA, $25, 8 PM

The Greycoats with Van Stree and Usonia Turf Club Dance Beats 21+, $8, 8 PM

Vonnie Kyle with Speed's the Name and Reina Del Cid Triple Rock Fast-paced 18+, $7, 9 PM

Caleb Hawley with Chris Lawrence 7th Street Entry Powerhouse Soul 18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

  Saturday 5.4.2013

Har Mar Superstar with The Chalice, Baby Boys and Painted Pony's Turf Club Brand New Sound 21+, $12, 9 PM

Haley Bonar with Carroll Icehouse MPLS Local Favorites 21+, $15, 11 PM

Steven Wilson and band Fine Line Music Cafe Prolific Songwriting 18+, $22.50, 7:30 PM

JD McPherson with The Cactus Blossoms First Avenue Mainroom Rockabilly 18+, $17/$20, 8 PM

Trixie Whitley with Johnny Nicholson 7th Street Entry Musical Film-Noir 18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Sunday 5.5.2013

Ryan Beatty with Color Tab and Lizzy Herder Fine Line Music Cafe Youtube Child Star AA, $15, 11 AM

James McCartney with Barbara Jean 7th Street Entry Soaring Vocals 18+, $15, 6 PM

Crystal Castles with Pictureplane Invisibles First Avenue Mainroom Electro Noise 18+, $25, 7 PM

Monday 5.6.2013

Generationals with Brass Bed 7th Street Entry Melancholic Hooks 18+, $10, 8 PM

Youngblood Hawke with The Colourist and Future Feats Triple Rock Harmonic Chemistry 18+, $12, 8 PM

Tuesday 5.7.2013

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires The Cedar, Tuesday 5.7 Like his Daptone labelmates Sharon Jones and Lee Fields, Charles Bradley records music influenced almost exclusively by the soul titans of his younger years - JB, Otis, and Al to name three. Distinguishing Bradley from his peers is the fact that he got the opportunity to do so (on a broad scale) only recently. Long story short, poverty and bad luck kept the now-64-year-old out of studios so long that 2011's excellent No Time for Dreaming — featuring a stunning indictment of the American Dream, "Why Is It So Hard?," among other gems — was his full-length debut. Understandably, the new Victim of Love is less of a surprise, but it's certainly more personal, and songs like the title track epitomize how organically pain can be turned into something beautiful. With Paul & the Tall Trees. —Mike Madden AA, $17.50, 8 PM

Where I'm going: Usonia @ the Turf

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